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Beware of Escheatment of Your Savings And Checking Accounts

Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 3:25 PM
Even if your institution doesn't have inactivity fees, there is another issue to worry about for inactive accounts. That's the process of escheatment in which the bank account that has been determined to be abandon is turned over to the state. Flexo at Consumerism Commentary described how E*TRADE warned him his savings account was going to be turned over to the state if he didn't conduct a transaction in 6 months.

The ING Direct CEO wrote this article on how states have used escheatment as a revenue grab. Here's how California has changed its escheatment laws:
Like most states, California has winnowed down the period of inactivity required to categorize an asset as abandoned. When the state first wrote its escheatment law, the statute of limitations was 16 years. In the 1980s, it was cut to five. Today, it's three.

Ken TuminKen Tumin5,472 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,708
1. Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 4:12 PM is a helpful resource to find funds and property which have been escheated.   The website is a database of the governmental unclaimed property records and recovery of the funds is prompt and economical.  Friends have found uncashed expense reimbursement checks, forgotten utility deposits, and overlooked account credits.

Be sure to check maiden names (if appropriate) and names of other family members and all the states in which you have lived.  Some states are not yet included, but there are links to the appropriate locations to search for escheated property in those states. 

pearlbrownpearlbrown1,491 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,489
2. Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 10:54 PM
Thanks for the reminder!  A few years ago, found one out of state for a family member who passed.  I thought it got collected, but it's still there.
ekatekat75 posts since
Jan 22, 2010
Rep Points: 246
3. Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 11:42 AM
I have found checks for each of my 2 sons, mother-lin-law, sister-in-law and several for my husbands uncle, but none for my husband or myself. Also don't forget to check for IRS refund checks not received.
Ally6770Ally6770943 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,742